Only the Veriest Clod Could Remain Unmoved

To leave a world of such fascinating historical vestiges is hard, but at last—accelerated by my illness—the parting had to come. Hospital, boat train, glimpses of ancient countryside, spires of Rouen—and finally the limitless Atlantic and the topless towers of Manhattan once more.

There may be those who will think my modest jaunt a sadly hackneyed coursing in the beaten paths, but to them I can only reply that no path is truly purged of its glamour so long as any ancient memories or overtones of fancy still cling around its sights and impressions. Europe’s common sights, imbibed for the first time, have enchanted me with the magic of such memories and such overtones; hence I have no apologies to make, except so far as I have failed to transmit the magic in these inevitably prosy and inadequate notes. Only the veriest clod could remain unmoved before the familiar ancestral shrines of modern Western civilisation.


DESCRIPTION: In his essay “European Glimpses,” which recounts a trip his ex-wife, Sonia H. Greene, took in 1932, Lovecraft claims that “only the veriest clod could remain unmoved before the familiar ancestral shrines of modern Western civilisation,” a parting jab that may have been meant, perhaps subconsciously, for his ex-wife.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “European Glimpses.” Collected Essays. Edited by S. T. Joshi, vol. 4, Hippocampus Press, 2005, pp. 232-52.

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A Cringing Slave-Cult

Half the tragedies of history are the result of expecting one group to conform to the instinctive reactions of another, or to cherish its values. One of the worst examples of this is the cringing Semitic slave-cult of Christianity which became thrust upon our virile, ebullient Western stock through a series of grotesque historical accidents.


DESCRIPTION: In a letter to his friend James F. Morton, Lovecraft describes Christianity as a “slave-cult,” which suppresses the virility of its followers.

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “To James Ferdinand Morton.” 30 Oct. 1929. Selected Letters. Edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, vol. 3, Arkham House, 1971, pp. 39-55.

The Decline of the West

Orientals must be kept in their native East till the fall of the white race. Sooner or later a great Japanese war will take place … The more numerous Chinese are a menace of the still more distant future. They will probably be the exterminators of Caucasian civilisation, for their numbers are amazing.


DESCRIPTION: In a letter to the Gallomo, Lovecraft describes his racist theory that the Chinese and Japanese will someday become the “exterminators of Caucasian civilisation.”

CITATION: Lovecraft, H. P. “To Alfred Galpin and Maurice W. Moe.” 30 Sept. 1919. Selected Letters. Edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, vol. 1, Arkham House, 1965, pp. 89-90.